Trucking accidents can be among the most devastating experiences for any individual that has been involved. Attorneys have been on the side of injured people, fighting for their rights, often against insurance companies. What happens, though, when the rights and benefits of those harmed or in danger are at stake?
For the past few years, Texas has been the state with the most significant truck accidents nationwide. From 2016 to 2019, the number of truck accidents increased by 27%, and the state recorded more large truck accidents than Colorado, Oklahoma, Kansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, Arkansas, Arizona, Mississippi, and Nebraska combined. Lately, there has been increasing unrest and discussion about the House Bill 19 (HB19) which could introduce critical changes, mostly in favor of large insurance and trucking companies. This bill’s main purpose is to shift the blame in cases of a commercial accident. Unlike how these cases have been handled up until now, the responsibility won’t be with the company. Instead, it will be passed on to the individual driver if an accident occurs and the involved party files a lawsuit. The reasoning behind HB 19 is to protect trucking companies against potential “abusive lawsuits” that target their policy limits. While that might sound reasonable to anybody who hasn’t been involved in such an accident or isn’t familiar with what’s going on with insurance and trucking companies, the real question is how it can affect those in real and urgent need.
- What seems to be problematic about HB 19?
As we already briefly mentioned, the bill could shift the companies’ liability to the individual driver. That means trucking corporations end up having less incentive to closely follow safety measures and precautions, putting people at greater risk on the road. With HB 19 (and the involvement of insurance companies), experts expect it to get harder to go after and punish trucking companies through courts if they violate the safety standards and protocols. Holding trucking companies accountable for mistakes and oversights are crucial for the people of Texas and letting lawmakers know that a substantial majority is against the bill could prove to be vital for the greater good.
- How can law firms advocate for the cause?
- By using their existing network of clients. Let your previous and current clients know what’s going on and create awareness through the systems you’ve got in place. For example, use your newsletter to share the most vital information and share the “#truckingdanger petition.” People you’re either currently helping or have already helped with their cases know that you are fighting for their rights and are likely more willing to listen and understand what’s at stake.
- By using your Social Media. Social Networks like Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, or even Clubhouse, if you’re on it, are ideal for creating awareness and educating your local community about the topic. You can record an informative video explaining the issue or a discussion with one of your peers, and post it on Instagram as a complete video or break it into pieces for posts or stories. Then you can also upload it on your Law Firm’s YouTube. You could do the same on Facebook and even hold a live session where you can answer related questions coming from your local community.
Tip: As one of the most well-known social media platforms, consider looking into TikTok. The relatively new platform is the favorite of younger generations that could be called upon to step up, join the cause, and raise their voices against potential injustice.
- By writing about the issue on your law firm’s blog. Creating a blog explaining this bill’s potential threats can drastically help the cause, as it builds awareness of what’s at stake. We expect search queries from Texans to rise shortly, so a detailed blog article could encourage more individuals to sign the petition and help protect the rights of those harmed and in need.
- By using community outreach activities. Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, in-person community outreach is more challenging, but along the way, and as vaccination rates are growing, events will eventually resume. If you plan on distributing outreach material, a simple mention could prove beneficial for the cause by helping people understand that you are there for them in any given situation, fighting for their rights.
- By getting on a related podcast to talk about the issue. Podcasts could be a great way to inform the people of Texas. If your law firm doesn’t run a dedicated podcast, see if you can get on a peer’s podcast. We, for example, run In Camera Podcast, private legal marketing conversations, where we always listen to the needs of the community and law firms.
We’ve been in constant contact with our law firm clients, especially in Texas, and we know that attorneys care about the rights of their clients as well as the people of Texas in general. Fighting for those who are harmed and in need is the most important mission for any lawyer. This is your chance to step up, raise your voice, and join forces with the community that needs your guidance and help.
What are the top takeaways?
- House Bill 19 is in the discussion phase. Now is the time to let Texas’s lawmakers know that you’re against it.
- It’s particularly crucial to get the local community involved in the cause. Educate them and make it evident that they have an opportunity to take a stand against potential injustice.
- Using your network, social media platforms, and all the available resources your law firm can access is vital to the process.
If you want to discuss the matter, feel free to reach out. We are part of the community and always here to help, especially in critical issues and moments.